Books & current projects

We Are All Targets is out January 10th in the US & Canada. (March 14th in the UK, Australia & NZ.)


Outlaws Inc by Matt Potter. (2011 Pan Macmillan/Bloomsbury; 2nd edition, 2012)

German: Tödliche Fracht (Ullstein Verlag, 2011); Finnish: Salainen Lasti (Tammi Oy, 2012; 2nd edition 2014)

“Adventures inside the world’s biggest smuggling network… a true-crime thriller for a dangerous age.”

Outlaws Inc. is the result of nearly 20 years of work, and a journey that took its author from the mafia badlands of the disintegrating Soviet Union to the black-market warehouses of Afghanistan, the cocaine coast of Central America and the last bolthole of Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia. It combines first-person action-adventure with true crime and political analysis. Click here to buy Outlaws Inc from Amazon!

What the critics say about Outlaws Inc

“Fascinating… it’s Jason Bourne meets James Bond, only it’s really happening, and it’s happening now.”
Andy Ross, America Now

“An explosive read, full of heart-thumping excitement – and all the more terrifying for being true.”
Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, The Daily Telegraph; Author, Bomb Hunters

“A riveting homage to these extraordinary ex-Soviet planes and the dodgily heroic Russian and Ukrainian smugglers who fly and crash them… it’s also the alternative history of the last two decades.”
John Sweeney, BBC Panorama and The Literary Review (review below)


“A brilliantly told story… these men are expendable cogs in a larger machine. The laughs and action along the way make the book’s overall sadness even more poignant.”
Peter Danssaert, United Nations/Amnesty panel on arms trafficking


“A chilling indictment of the worldwide failure of regulatory will”
Manchester Evening News


“Amazing… we await the inevitable Hollywood movie of this one.”
ABC News
“This amazing piece of investigative writing lifts the lid on a network of mercenary airmen, operating at the limits of international law to deliver huge amounts of cargo on a no-questions-asked basis for governments, rebel armies, drug lords, arms dealers and charities alike. Any cargo, anywhere. Part investigative, part experiential, Matt’s story reveals how this network’s takes in our own governments as well as global organised crime and the shady, dangerous world of the Mafia.”


Outlaw US
Bloomsbury USA:
“Espionage, smuggling, and secret ransoms are at the center of this nonfiction thriller about the outlaws who go where our government won’t. This riveting account reveals the secret corners of our supposedly flat world: black markets where governments are never seen but still spend outrageous amounts of money. Journalist Matt Potter tells the story of Yuri and his crew, a gang of Russian military men who, after the collapse of the Soviet union found themselves without work or prospects. So they bought a decommissioned Soviet plane—at liquidation prices, straight from the Russian government—and started a shipping business. it wasn’t long before Yuri, and many pilots like him, found themselves an unlikely (and ethically dubious) hub of global trading. Men like these are paid by the US, the Taliban, and blue-chip multinational companies to bring supplies— some legal, some not—across dangerous borders.
“In a feat of daring reportage, Potter gets onto the flight deck with these outlaws and tells the story of their fearless missions. Dodging gunfire, he is taken from place to place by men trafficking everything from illicit weapons to emergency aid, making enemies everywhere but no reliable friends. As the world changes, we see the options for the crew first explode, then slowly diminish, until, in a desperate maneuver, they move their operations to the most lawless corners of Africa, where they operate to this day.
“The story of these outlaws is a microcosm of the world since the end of the cold war: secret contracts, guerrilla foreign policy, and conflicts too thorny to be handled in public. Potter uses the story of these men to articulate an underground history of the globalized world. At once thrilling, provocative, and morally circumspect, this book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in espionage, or in how the world works today.”


Outlaws Inc. was first published in the UK and Commonwealth on 3rd June 2011; US/Canada on 30 August; Germany, Italy and Finland in September 2011.

Category: Non-fiction / Current Affairs / Politics / True Crime/ Thriller

Pan Macmillan
(UK/Commonwealth); Bloomsbury USA (US/Canada); Ullstein/Econ Verlag (Germany); Einaudi (Italy); Tammi (Finland)